Last year Edmonton was my most enjoyable marathon (even with the extreme heat), and I was looking forward to running it again this year. And I did run it… but it wasn't quite as much fun.
So what went wrong? Well, I usually fuel up before a race with a bowl of oatmeal, which I had prepared just the way I like it the day before. Unfortunately, the hotel microwave was, well, too dirty to use. I ate my oatmeal cold and my stomach was very slow to digest it. Then, horror of horrors, I didn't make it to the start line on time (the train schedule is pretty sparse on Sundays, and finding stations in a strange city ain't the easiest thing even if you have a map). But just four minutes late, which isn't the end of the world.
The race itself was just a bit slow (even though I was passing tons of people thanks to my late start), but at the halfway point I found myself next to another experienced runner named Budd who encouraged me and helped to keep me from losing speed. Well, it helped for a while… but at 34k I hit the wall hard and just shuffled along for the final few kilometres. My final time was just under 3:30.
Food and tardiness were factors in my underwhelming performance, but the main issue was training. Because this was my third marathon of the year, I'd been training since November, around 9 months in total. My training regime has become stagnant, all I do is run. No core training, no weights, and even my "sprints" are just fast runs. So I'm taking a break (if you can call 50k a week a "break") and will resume serious training in January, in preparation for the next Calgary marathon.